The Euphoria Scene That Left Zendaya Physically Scarred

Zendaya has always thrown herself into her acting roles, no matter the physical or emotional demands. During Zendaya's 2017 appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," the star described botched stunts for her film "The Greatest Showman," where she and co-star Zac Efron slammed into each other mid-air. Fallon even showed a video clip of the pair experiencing the stunt malfunction, though both stars appeared to recover quickly from their collision. 

Zendaya also recalled a conversation she had with "Greatest Showman" director Michael Gracey on the phone before filming started. She shared with Fallon that Gracey had advised her to start working out and told her, "I want to use the stunt doubles as little as possible." 

In 2021, the young star showed enthusiasm for stunt work on her "Spiderman: Far From Home" press tour. She shared in an interview with BBC Radio 1 that she and her co-star Jacob Batalon "finally got to do a few stunts" and that they were "feeling very excited about that."

It seems that the crew behind HBO's hit show "Euphoria" took a similar approach to working with the actress, allowing Zendaya to do many of her own stunts, though her stunt double was present for two episodes of Season 1 as well as the fifth episode of Season 2 (via IMDb). However, the actress herself has since been open about the now-infamous Season 2 episode's intense physical challenges.

Zendaya filmed physically demanding scenes on Euphoria

Starring in "Euphoria" has never been an easy job, and Zendaya shared in a cast interview with Entertainment Weekly just how demanding her role as Rue became during Season 2. She reflected on a particularly tough day while the crew was filming episode 5, titled "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird," during which Rue runs through backyards and climbs over cars. While preparing to shoot the episode in question, Zendaya had to face down the task of playing someone on the run from her family, the police, and her friends, all while going through an excruciating physical withdrawal from substances. "It was so intense and scary to tackle, and obviously something that would be incredibly emotionally taxing, but also physically taxing," she recalled. 

Still, the actress didn't let dread keep her from giving every scene her all, despite having most of the hour-long episode's screen time filled with intense sequences where she ran, jumped fences, and narrowly evaded capture. "It was a very tough day ... I mean, I beat myself up. I still have some scars on my legs, and got quite a few bruises," she revealed. 

Though her role may have required a more extended physical recuperation, Zendaya's close relationship with her fellow actors allowed her to recover emotionally between takes. She told Entertainment Weekly, "After every take, we're hugging each other, we're talking through it, we're embracing, checking in, because obviously it's like a war zone."